Exploring Martha’s Vineyard This June

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Beach roses, weddings and Father’s Day provide the backdrop for a bevy of events that fill the month of June from end to end on Martha’s Vineyard. Generally, a less crowded time to visit — in comparison to July and August — the start of the summer season on the Vineyard packs a full slate of festivals and celebrations.

For starters, the Vineyard Artisans Festival kicks off their season on June 9th with the first of their summer shows. If you love to shop and are always on the prowl for unique, handcrafted items, mark your calendar now! Held in West Tisbury’s historic Grange Hall, visitors can enjoy craft demos and local farm-to-table food as they browse Vineyard-made fine furniture, pottery, stained and sea glass windows, artwork, sculpture, wampum jewelry, quilts, clothing, handmade books and more. There is also a nearby playground for the kids to enjoy.

Just four days later, on June 13, the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust holds its annual fundraiser, the Taste of the Vineyard Gourmet Stroll. Held on the lush lawns of the whaling-era Dr. Daniel Fisher House in downtown Edgartown, the Stroll offers an opportunity to sample foods and beverages provided by more than 75 of the Island’s finest restaurants and suppliers. Live music keeps the party going as night falls.

Still hungry? On Father’s Day, June 16th, Martha’s Vineyard celebrates Restaurant Week.  Through June 20th, participating restaurants offer multi-course menus or other samplings from their repertoires at special prices, giving visitors the opportunity to explore new options for the vacation days ahead.

The Sweet Life Café readies for Martha’s Vineyard Restaurant Week

Oak Bluffs pulls out all the stops on June 22, strutting its stuff as the Island’s party town at HarborFest, the town’s annual open-air waterfront party. Live music, fun vendor shopping and lots of great food — chowder, fried clams, oysters, and other graze-worthy, hot weather favorites — bring residents and visitors together to celebrate the official arrival of summer.

Oak Bluffs’ busy harbor is the backdrop for the town’s annual HarborFest

About a week later, on June 30, Oak Bluffs hosts its 8th Annual Summer Solstice Celebration. The town’s main street, Circuit Avenue, is in street fair mode all day long. At night, fireworks light up the sky over Ocean Park.

Looking for something a little more low-key and countrified? Take a trip up-Island to West Tisbury, where the Congregational Church celebrates the new season with an old-fashioned strawberry social on June 22. Beginning on June 18th and continuing weekly on Tuesdays, Featherstone Center for the Arts opens its Fine Arts and Flea Market on its bucolic campus. On June 24th, the organization adds Musical Mondays to the mix, opening this year with jazz, funk and blues artists Jon Zeeman & Friends.

Featherstone Center for the Arts’ Fine Arts & Flea Market opens in June

If all of the above is not enough to convince you that June is a great time to pay us a visit, add this to the mix: you can travel standby with your vehicle on the Steamship Authority Ferry out of Woods Hole to the Island any day of the week until June 21. So seize the moment, summer’ll be here before you can say “Solstice!”

Carol Ward is content editor at MVOL providing current information about the Island at www.mvol.com & www.mvolmobile.com. An Island resident for 30 years, Carol was formerly publications editor for MV Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at carol@mvol.com.

For visitors coming onto the island, there are plenty of places to stay, from scenic inns to quaint B&Bs. Once you are on the island, there are a number of ways to get around, as well; click here for a list of transportation options.